A Good Man is Hard To Find Summary
Taking on a book review on ‘a good man is hard to find’? Take a look at our synopsis to get a feel of what the book is about. Flannery O’Connor employs a horror theme in his story about how a vacation goes very wrong.
Here Is a Quick Summary of a Good Man Is Hard To Find
Here is a brief plot overview. The story revolves around a family that consists of a grandmother, her son his wife and three children. They plan a trip with the destination, Florida, but the grandmother does not want to go there as there is a killer called ‘the misfit’ on the loose. The family does not listen to her. As the trip continues the driver loses control and the car goes into a ditch. A hearse then pulls up, and three men get out. The grandmother recognizes one of them as the misfit, and she is terrified. She attempts to persuade him not to kill her. The rest of the men take the rest of the family and murder them. The grandmother pleads with the misfit and even appeals to her spiritual side. The misfit reveals the belief that a person should have as much fun as they can before they die and that there is no pleasure, only meanness. He eventually kills her too and then reveals how killing has stopped being fun.
The story opens with a scene of a grandmother, her son and his family that includes a wife and two children, a boy and a girl by the names John Wesley and June star respectively. The family makes plans to go on a vacation to Florida. The grandmother is opposed to this since she wants to go to Tennessee. She even decides to use the excuse of a killer on the loose called the misfit and mentions that they might run into him in Florida. Of course, the family does not fall for this. They even tell her that she should not go to Florida with them if she does not want to.
In the morning, when they were going on the trip, the grandmother is the first one ready in the car. The grandmother sits at the back with the two older children while the wife is upfront with the baby in her arms. The children ramble about how boring Georgia is as a state. The grandmother decides to talk about Tennessee, but she is surprised when John Wesley calls Tennessee a ‘hill Billy dumping ground”. She talks about how children had more respect for their home states, and then they drive past a little black boy with no pants by the side of the road, and this switches the conversation to the subject of the south, where she was from. She even talks about the ‘glory days’ when she was a belle on a plantation and here encounter with Negroes.
The family arrives at a restaurant named the Tower. While here, the owner, named Sammy, engages the grandmother in a conversation about times that were better while the family eats. They return to the car, and the journey continues. The grandmother sleeps and then wakes up with the memory of a plantation house that according to here they had passed. She wants them to stop, and so she mentions that the house had a hidden panel that the previous owners hid their silver in which gets the kids on her side. They beg Bailey to stop for some time until he eventually gives in. When they get there, the grandmother realizes something that scares her, and she reacts suddenly. She spills valise, and the cat jumps on bailey. This leads to the car losing control and going off the road where it spins and crashes to a stop. Everyone is fine. The narrator reveals that the house that the grandmother remembered was in Tennessee and not Georgia.
The family decides to wait for help in the form of a car to come by. One approaches and slows down. Three men come out, and the family realizes that they had guns. The grandmother keeps her attention on the man wearing spectacles and feels he looked familiar. The man tells the children to sit. “You are the misfit!” blurts the grandmother. The man agrees and tells her that it would have been better for them if she had not recognized him.
The grandmother cries and starts talking about how she could tell that the Misfit came from good folks as an attempt to make him spare them. The misfit agrees with the statement and reveals that he was the different one. One of the men says he will fix the car. The misfit tells Bailey and his son to go into the woods. Two shots are heard.
The man who shot the two comes back with Bailey’s shirt on. The grandmother calls her son, but there is no answer. She turns to the misfit again and starts telling him how he is a good man and that he would not shoot “a lady” like her. The misfit then asks if the wife, daughter and the child want to join Bailey in the woods and Bailey’s wife nods weakly. There are three shots heard. The grandmother rambles on, indicating that she was getting nervous. She even starts talking about Jesus but instead ends up repeating the name Jesus multiple times.
Misfit seems to be having a revelation. The grandmother says to the misfit, “you are my son” one of the quotes out of a good man is hard to find” and tries to touch him. The misfit pulls back. He then shoots the grandmother three times in the chest. The men take her body off with the others. While this is happening the misfit then observes that the grandmother would only have become a good woman provided there had been someone to shoot her every moment she lived. One of the men says “some fun.” The misfit replies that “it is no real pleasure in life.”